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Smithyman & Zakoura Attorneys Join Foulston Siefkin’s Overland Park Office

August 1, 2022

OVERLAND PARK, KAN. – Foulston Siefkin LLP is expanding its energy and public utilities practice with the addition of three attorneys from Smithyman & Zakoura, Chartered, effective Aug. 1, 2022.

Founded in 1986, for more than 35 years Smithyman & Zakoura has represented the business, medical, government, and faith communities throughout Kansas and metropolitan Kansas City. Attorneys Lee M. Smithyman, James P. Zakoura, and Connor A. Thompson are known regionally for their energy and public utilities practice, with an emphasis on the critical and complex issues of natural gas and electric energy, acquisition, and pricing. Smithyman & Zakoura has been recognized by Best Lawyers® as a Tier 1 Best Law Firm for energy law in Kansas City, Kansas since 2018.

“We are pleased to find a firm like Foulston whose commitment to top-notch legal counsel and client service matches our own philosophy. This allows us to ensure that we can serve our clients for many years in the future,“ says partner Lee Smithyman. 

Joining with the Foulston energy and public utilities practice comes at a critical time for clients, says partner Jim Zakoura. “The energy and public utility sectors in Kansas are experiencing profound change in almost every area. To both lead and manage this magnitude of change will require continuing engagement on behalf of clients on the issues, and deep knowledge and experience in the industry. The energy and utilities practice of Foulston provides this for clients.” 

Foulston Kansas City partner-in-charge Tony Rupp notes that Smithyman & Zakoura’s practice complements Foulston’s well: “We have a number of clients already in common. Bringing on these experienced attorneys will assist our current clients in a unique practice area. Lee and Jim are well respected in the energy and public utilities arena.” 

Smithyman, a trial attorney, is a graduate of Washburn University School of Law. After completion of Airborne and Ranger school, Smithyman served as an Air Defense Military artillery officer in Wurzburg, Germany. He completed military service as a captain in 1970. Smithyman is a licensed arbitrator and mediator through the American Arbitration Association. He is a member and past president of the Kansas Bar Association, a former member of the Tenth Judicial District Nominating Commission and was appointed by the Kansas Supreme Court to the Kansas Board of Discipline in 2010. 

Zakoura, whose practice focuses on energy, public utilities, and corporate and administrative law, is a graduate of the University of Kansas School of Law. He regularly appears before state and federal administrative boards on energy and public utility matters and represents consortiums and individual clients on various energy-related matters and in litigation. He is chairperson of the board of trustees of the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS), serving as a KPERS trustee since 2018. 

Thompson practices in energy, environmental and natural resources law.  


As the largest law firm based in Kansas, with offices in Kansas City, Topeka, and Wichita, Foulston Siefkin LLP provides legal services to a broad range of clients — from large national and international corporations to closely held businesses and individuals. Foulston’s lawyers are consistently recognized as among the leading lawyers in the United States. For more than 100 years, Foulston’s lawyers have provided counsel in a wide range of practice areas, including civil and complex litigation, tax, business matters, employment and labor, and healthcare. For more information, contact Tony Rupp, Overland Park office partner-in-charge, at 913.253.2127, trupp@foulston.com; Tammy Allen, chief marketing officer, at 316.291.9572, tallen@foulston.com; or visit www.foulston.com.